Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Forthcoming: T. Styles - Black And Ugly

Black and Ugly
T. Styles
Black And Ugly
Parade Knight hates her complexion. As a result, she considers herself to be unattractive and condones the misuse of her body.
Sky Taylor is beautiful, fly and wanted, and loves reminding Parade of her imperfections – especially after suspecting that she may be sleeping with her man, Jay Hernandez.
Miss Wayne is hilarious and a self-proclaimed girlfriend who enjoys the attention his friends bring. If you let Miss Wayne tell it, he’s not a gay, he’s just one of the girls.
Daffany Stans uses her body for profit and hides a health secret so serious that it could endanger the lives of her friends, considering their sex partners are so closely related.
Black and Ugly is a tale of four totally different friends from the same block, whose friendship is tested during a seemingly innocent game of Truth or Dare. When fatal secrets begin to surface, will Parade give up the friend whose shadow she has walked in all her life? And will Miss Wayne and Daphne abandon their friends to save themselves?
I knew I was ugly the moment my mother gave me a mirror. How could I not? Growing up, she reminded me over and over that I didn’t look like her when she was younger. I don’t care too much anymore because I can beat a bitch down. And, I dare somebody to call me ugly to my face. Everybody knows me round my way and they know the one thing I don’t tolerate is someone tellin’ me somethin’ I already know.
--Excerpt from Black and Ugly

Click Here To Pre-Order This Book Now!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Forthcoming: Kimona Jaye - Good Girls Pole Riders Club

Kimona J

Good Girls Pole Rider's Club

When Shaundra finds an ambitious stripper's business card in her boyfriend's back pocket, she decides it's time to learn some new tricks. If dropping it like it's hot is what her man wants, then that's what she's going to give him.
She tells her girlfriends -- Shay, Brenda, and Karina -- and they make a pact to buy a stripper's pole and learn how to work it like the pros. Trash talking on a girls' night out is easy. But fulfilling the promises these best friends make under the influence of vodka martinis proves to be much more difficult for these suburban women who've never met a stripper, much less aimed to be one.
Shay is bored with her marriage and herself after ten years as a preacher's wife; Shaundra is the mother of a rebellious teenager; Karina is Weight Watchers' number one client; and Brenda is a peace officer who is ready to get wild for the first time in her life. These are desperate housewives and singles in search of Mr. Right, trying to keep love in their lives by projecting a good-girl image to the world but being bad girls in bed. These are four friends waiting to exhale . . . and make the earth move.
Riding the wave of mainstream popularity that the skill of stripping has among ordinary wives, mothers, and singles, Kimona Jaye -- a fresh new voice in sexy fiction -- delivers a fun and intoxicating adventure to be read and shared with friends and lovers alike.
"I gotta get a pole! What a sensual treat for the grown and sexy!"

-- Noire, #1 Essence bestselling author of Candy Licker and Thug-A-Licious


Click Here To Read The Full Excerpt


Click Here To Order The Book

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Forthcoming: Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker - The Ex-Factor

Tu-Shonda L. Whitaker
The Ex Factor
Available Now!

This emotional, erotically-charged novel follows three half-sisters and their complicated relationships with one another and with the men in their lives.

Celeste thinks all she wants in life are her family and a nice home in the suburbs. Yet lately she’s got a hunch that her sexy husband, Sharief, a New York City policeman, is patrolling more than just the streets. Celeste is sure he’s cheating on her. When she finds out that the home-wrecker is none other than her own sister Monica, all hell breaks loose.

Monica never intended to fall in love with her sister’s husband. But who knew that Sharief would make every inch of her body tingle with a single touch? Monica knows she should have righted her wrong before Celeste found out, but she’s in too deep–in more ways than one.

Imani is not pleased that her low-life boyfriend, Walik, just got out of the slammer and wants her back. Sure enough trouble comes knocking. But when a fine Puerto Rican DJ named Kree seduces her and showers her son, Jamal, with attention, Imani finally gets a shot at happiness and ghetto-free love.

Fielding the curve balls tossed their way, Celeste, Monica, and Imani learn that it takes more than sisterhood to cope with love, life, and men–the ones they’ve got, and that elusive ex factor.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Forthcoming - C-Murder - Death Around The Corner

There's A Time To Go Hard, And A Time To Chill...
The day the cops took his daddy away for murder, a new emotion gripped five-year-old Daquan Watson's heart: Hate. It would stay with him as he came up in The Calliope, New Orleans' most notorious, drug-infested housing projects, where every brother is a soldier goin' to war every day. Grandma Mama does her best to raise him the right way, but those streets keep calling. Trying to get ahead in such a harsh environment can make your heart turn cold--unless you learn how to listen to your guardian angel...

There's A Time To Take One For The Team...

But the violence at The Calliope is nothing compared to what Daquan experiences doing time at Scotland Correctional Center for youth, watching cats get stabbed over card games, young boys get raped, and racism of the worst kind, even from the black guards. A voice inside tells him he'd better learn to use his anger--instead of letting it use him, ya heard?


And A Time To Think For Yourself...

From the moment Daquan heard his first blast of hip hop, the music spoke to him, and for him. While his friends are getting their street hustle cracking, his way with words is leading him in another direction. With a good woman by his side, he's owning up to his responsibilities and building a new future with New Orleans' biggest rap label. But what about his homies in The CP3--will they ever be truly free? Daquan knows his hardened heart will never allow him to become a victim. He can only pray it won't allow him to become a predator...


Click Here To Order Your Copy Today!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Forthcoming: Carl Weber - The First Lady

The national bestselling author of The Preacher's Son and So You Call Yourself A Man returns with a scandalously spirited new novel about a woman who knows she's her husband's First Lady—but doesn't want to be his last…
Charlene Wilson, First Lady of First Jamaica Ministries, has lived a good life with two wonderful children and her beloved husband, Bishop T.K. Wilson. Now the Lord is calling her home at the age of forty-four. She's ready to go, but what will happen to T.K. after she's gone?
The Bishop may be a man of God, but he's still a man who needs a woman. Trouble is, T.K. is just as naïve as any other man when it comes to women—especially slick-ass, bible-toting, man-hungry church women. That's why Charlene has planned a way to hang around in spirit—to make sure her replacement is a good one.
First in line is Marlene, the mother of T.K.'s illegitimate daughter, Tanisha. Then there's Monique Johnson, First Lady of Plastic Surgery and Implants. The only thing real about Monique is how much she wants T.K. Next is Savannah Dickens, the church's attractive new choir soloist, who's also the daughter of a prominent church elder. And last but not least is Charlene's good friend, Sister Lisa Mae Johnson, widow of Pastor Lee Jones.
With the help of her friend Alison, Charlene anticipates any scenario that might occur in a series of letters addressed to the lucky ladies. Alison has vowed to keep an eye on T.K.'s social life and deliver them as needed. No one else knows about the letters, but rest assured, they will shake up a whole lot of people. Charlene may soon be gone, but her presence will be felt…

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Forthcoming: Marissa Monteilh - Dr. Feelgood

They call him Dr. Feelgood…

One woman would never be enough to satisfy noted cardiologist Dr. Makkai Worthy, better known by his sex partners as Dr. Feelgood. Womanizer extraordinaire, he's a chip off the old block of his rolling-stone papa and commitment isn’t an option. At 37 and single, he’s happier than he’s ever been, living the lifestyle of the rich and fine. A gifted surgeon, Dr. Feelgood knows how to operate in the O.R. by day. But by night, it's his smooth operations in the bedroom that are driving his four main squeezes crazy.

First, there’s demanding-diva Georgia. She's bound and determined to be the doctor's one and only until suspicions arise that she’s keeping something on the down low. Mary Jane is a sweetheart of a nurse who works in Dr. Feelgood’s cardiology unit. He tries to stay hands off, until a player friend starts to make a move and he’s forced to stake his claim. Self-absorbed Monday is as fast as the day is long, and she boasts that she can bag any man without getting serious; but the sexually talented Dr. Feelgood flips the script and uncovers another side of Monday. Spicy Salina’s white husband is not one to share, so when he’s sent to jail for choking the good doctor, the drama really begins.

Dr. Feelgood’s escapades as a true player could force him to finally settle down, or they might just motivate him to begin another affair of the heart. Watch out, because the ladies are lining up, and the doctor is in …

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Where Are They Now? Authors MIA

I have always been an avid reader. Before my hubby and I started our website last year, I use to read around maybe 3 to 4 books a month. Now I read around eight! I've read some really great books by some wonderful authors over the years. With the African-American book market being so competitive now, authors are either putting out books every year or sometimes even 2 a year. As I look at my bookshelf, I find that there are some great authors that have either put out 1 or 2 good books and then vanished into thin air. Where are these MIA authors?? You can't even find out any info on them on the net. Here are just a few authors that are MIA . If anybody has any info on any future or current projects about any of these authors or if you can think of any other authors feel free to post them here.

MIA Authors (Have You Them Seen Them??)

Sheneska Jackson : This author's debut novel was back in 1996 (Caught Up In The Rapture). She followed up with Lil' Mama's Rules in 1997, and Blessings in 1998. All three novels were excellent and I just knew that this author would be around for years to come. The Amazon reviews for all of her books were 4 to 4.5 overall ratings so its not like these books were total flops in my opinion. After her last book, there was supposed to be another book by Sheneska called Southern Comfort but the dates kept getting pushed farther and farther away in the future. The last release date was 12/05 I believe. At one point, Southern Comfort just completely disappeared and so did Sheneska. What a shame.

Sterling Anthony: This author's debut and only novel was Cookie Cutter back in 1999. This was an excellent mystery but sadly this was this author's only book. What happened?

Grace F. Edwards: This author wrote the very good Mali Anderson sister sleuth series. The last Mali Anderson book was Do or Die in July 2000. Grace did have another mystery called The Viaduct that was not a part of the Mali Anderson series back in December 2003 but there's been nothing since then.

Marcus Major: This is another author who had several great novels. The last book was A Family Affair back in 2003. Where are you Marcus?

Renee Swindle: This author wrote one book call Please, Please, Please back in 1999. Nothing since then.

Patty Rice: This author wrote the ultimate book about getting caught up in loving a married man called Somethin' Extra and then in 2001 Reinventing The Woman. Once again, nothing since.

Penny Micklebury: Another sister sleuth fiction author. She wrote the Carole Ann Gibson series. The last book of this series was Paradise Interrupted in 2/01. This was a great series. Don't know why she stopped.

Sharon Mitchell: I loved all three of this author's books: Nothing But The Rent, Sheer Necessity, and the last book in 2001 Near Perfect. Nothing since.

Well, these are all that I can think of for now. Part 2 will come later.

Friday, November 03, 2006

On The Line w/Radiah Hubbert - Nov 2006 featuring Mary B. Morrison

Mary B. Morrison talks to Radiah Hubbert about:

-Her collaboration with Carl Weber for She Ain't The One
- Her new release When Somebody Loves You Back

- Her two upcoming projects
- Her thoughts on self-publishing
- Her advice for aspiring authors
- And Much More!!!

(right click with your mouse and select 'Save As' to download!)

On The Line with Radiah Hubbert
Exclusive One-on-One Interviews with Today's Top Authors!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On The Line w/Radiah Hubbert - Oct 2006 featuring Donna Hill

October 2006

Donna Hill talks to Radiah Hubbert about:
- Her upcoming release 'Guilty Pleasures'
- Her promotions company

- Her many upcoming projects
- Her advice for aspiring authors
- And Much More!!!

(right click with your mouse and select 'Save As' to download!)

On The Line with Radiah Hubbert
Exclusive One-on-One Interviews with Today's Top Authors!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Walk starring Eva Pigford, Tech, Regina Belle

Trailor for 'The Walk'......i'm assuming this is straight to video....but who knows.
Please post any comments you have on Eva Pigford's acting debut!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

On The Line w/Radiah Hubbert - Sept 2006 featuring Relentless Aaron

Relentless Aaron talks to Radiah Hubbert about:
- His newest release 'Extra Marital Affairs'
- His unorthodox marketing techniques
- His deal with St. Martin's Press
- His Journey From The Streets To The Shelves
- And Much More!!!

(right click with your mouse and select 'Save As' to download!)

On The Line with Radiah Hubbert
Exclusive One-on-One Interviews with Today's Top Authors!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

On The Line w/Radiah Hubbert - Aug 2006 featuring Karen E Quinones Miller

Karen E. Quinones Miller talks to Radiah Hubbert about:
- Her new and highly-anticipated sequel Satin Nights
- Her publishing company
- Her upcoming projects
- Her advice to aspiring authors
- And Much More!!!

(right click with your mouse and select 'Save As' to download!)

On The Line with Radiah Hubbert
Exclusive One-on-One Interviews with Today's Top Authors!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

On The Line w/Radiah Hubbert - July 2006 featuring Nikki Turner

July 2006 Feature Author(s):

The Queen of Hip Hop Fiction...
Nikki Turner!

Nikki Turner talks to Radiah Hubbert about:

- Her new novel Ridin' Dirty on I-95...
- Her new book series Nikki Turner Presents...
- Her upcoming project Death Before Dishonor through G-Unit Books
- Her highly-anticipated sequel Hustler's Wife 2
- And Much More!!!

(right click with your mouse and select 'Save As' to download!)

On The Line with Radiah Hubbert
Exclusive One-on-One Interviews with Today's Top Authors!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Poll Results for the past couple months.

Here are the results of our online polls for the past couple months. Some of it is actually pretty surprising. Others are right in line with what we expected. Oh, and of course these polls are nowhere near scientific!

How many books do you read?
Answers Percent Votes
1. One book a week or more 60% 29
2. One book every two weeks 13% 6
3. One book a month 19% 9
4. One book every three months 2% 1
5. One book every 6 months 2% 1
6. One book every year 0% 0
7. I don't read 4% 2

Total Votes: 48


Do you have a problem with Three Six Mafia winning an Academy Award for "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp?"
Answers Percent Votes
1. They deserve to win an Oscar! 55% 24
2. Never should have happened! 25% 11
3. What? I didn't know they won anything! 5% 2
4. Who The Heck Is Three Six Mafia? 0% 0
5. Undecided 16% 7

Total Votes: 44


Do you think the Source was right when they gave Lil Kim FIVE MICS for The Naked Truth?
Answers Percent Votes
1. Yes...Definitely! 10% 3
2. Maybe Not 5 Mics, But At Least 4! 16% 5
3. Naw...That Album Was Only Average! 32% 10
4. It Was Her Worst Album To Date! 0% 0
5. I Don't Know Anything About Her Album! 10% 3
6. Don't Care Enough To Even Listen To It! 32% 10

Total Votes: 31


Where do you get your books from?
Answers Percent Votes
1. Barnes and Noble store 8% 3
2. 18% 7
3. Borders/Waldenbooks store 18% 7
4. Black Expressions/Zooba 13% 5
5. Black Book Store 26% 10
6. Local Library 11% 4
7. Another online retailer besides 0% 0
8. None of the above 5% 2

Total Votes: 38


What Artist Had The BIGGEST IMPACT in 2005?
Answers Percent Votes
1. Mariah Carey 32% 19
2. 50 Cent 7% 4
3. Ciara 2% 1
4. Kanye West 49% 29
5. Usher 2% 1
6. Ludacris 0% 0
7. John Legend 7% 4
8. Young Jeezy 2% 1
9. Destiny's Child 0% 0
10. Bow Wow 0% 0

Total Votes: 59

Saturday, April 29, 2006

So Many Books, So Many Authors, No Time

I've always been an avid reader even before we started our review website. So being able to discover and interview new authors this past year has been exciting. But I have a problem:I can't get to everyone!!!! I knew that when we started the website that we would able to reach established and newbie authors. I just didn't know how many. We literally get at least 2 emails a week from authors who want to be featured on our site, and an endless amount of books.

The thing that suprises me the most is the amount of authors that still want promotion for books that are 1 and 2yrs old. This signals to me that the African-American book industry is a crowded and competive place. Even if you're signed to a major publishing house, you still have to do everything you can to stand out from the rest. That's why the author interviews and reviews that I do on the website are and always will remain free. Ofcourse we have paid advertising like any other website but that's as far as it goes.

Unless you're a big name like Terry, Eric, E.Lynn, Walter and other NY Times bestselling authors, you are out there grinding with day jobs. These authors have limited resources and budgets already. Why make it more difficult by charging for interviews and reviews? Authors need as much free publicity as possible. My payment is getting the review copy. My reward is knowing that I gave an author the much needed good publicity that they so desperately need.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Man allegedly shot by rapper Proof dies

Man allegedly shot by rapper Proof dies
Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2006
By: The Associated Press, APonline

DETROIT (AP) - A man who police say was shot by rapper Proof, just before Proof himself was killed, died of his wounds early Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Keith Bender had been in critical condition since being shot in the head a week ago at the CCC, a nightclub on Eight Mile Road, the boundary between Detroit and the northern suburbs.
Bender, 35, died early Tuesday, said Wende Berry, a spokeswoman for St. John Hospital and Medical Center.

Police have said witnesses told them that Proof, a hip-hop artist and friend of Eminem, shot Bender during a dispute at the after-hours club. Bender's cousin, Mario Etheridge, then shot and killed Proof, whose real name was Deshaun Holton, they said.

Etheridge, 28, has pleaded not guilty to charges of carrying a concealed weapon and discharge of a firearm in a building. His attorney, Randall Upshaw, said the shooting was in self-defense.

Proof, 32, was a member of the rap group D12 and was the best man in Eminem's January wedding. His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar!

Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar for the song
"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," from "Hustle & Flow."

Watch it at the link below!!!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Urban Fiction - Part II

Here is a link to a Roundtable featuring Urban Fiction author Relentless Aaron, Malaika Adero (senior editor for Atria Books), and author Nick Chiles who recently had a story on Urban Fiction in the New York Times titled "Their Eyes Were Reading Smut."

I personally thought this was an interesting disscusion. After listening to this, I was even more confused about Nick Chiles opinion. On NPR, he said that he didn't have a problem with street lit when according to the NY Times article it is evident that he DOES. He claims that he has a problem with walking into the African American Fiction section and the first thing he sees is street lit. He also said on NPR that he didn't have a problem with street lit being in the same section as other African American Lit. That is not what I got from the NY Times article. I mean in the article he even named actual titles of the books that he called smut! He had such a scathing opinion piece in the NY Times, but on NPR he changed his opinion...which is ridiculous! I felt that he changed his opinion because he was in the presence of a book editor and a street lit author. Nick Chiles waffled his opinion on NPR. I don't agree with Nick Chiles but if you have that strong of an opinion on something, you need to stick to it.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Times...They Are A-Changing....Sam Goody Closes 100s of Stores

Being a music enthusiast since I was a child, it's a no brainer that I've put in my time as a sales clerk, assistant manager, and manager for some music stores in my young adult years. I worked for 3 years at Vibes Music (which was under National Record Mart) on Marquette University's campus in Milwaukee, WI. That store closed in May 2001 due to being an 'underperforming' store for the chain. Ironically, it wasn't just our store because The NRM chain would fold totally by the end of 2001!

Luckily, I found myself another job with Tapeworld which would soon convert to FYE in the summer of 2001. But alas, the ever-changing music market and tough competition from big box retailers caused the Milwaukee location to close in January 2003. So the only major music entity that existed in the city from that point on was Sam Goody. They had a store in the Grand Avenue Mall where FYE was located and was it's only competitor. They also had stores at Bayshore Mall, Mayfair Mall, and nearby Brookfield Square mall.

Fast forward to February 2006 and ALL FOUR of these local Sam Goody stores are now closing...leaving Milwaukee in a strange situation of NO NATIONAL MUSIC CHAIN in the city. There's no Virgin Megastore, no Tower Records, no nothing. The only thing we have now are non-traditional stores (Borders, Barnes and Noble), big-box retailers (Best Buy, Circuit City, etc) and smaller local shops (Exclusive Company, DiscMan, Atomic, etc).

Read the story about the 341 Musicland locations that are closing at the link below. This includes Sam Goody and Suncoast stores. Some locations are losing both...and some just show a Sam Goody or just a Suncoast closing (for us in Milwaukee, it looks like both are closing at all locations even though they aren't listed that way in the story.) Feel free to leave your comments on this topic......

UPDATE: I've seen a LOT of blogs saying that Sam Goody/Suncoast everywhere are closing. This is a link to the .pdf about Musicland's reorganization (Chapter 11). It looks like it's about half of the stores closing.....not ALL of them. But you never know what has changed in recent weeks. Here is the link from Musicland's website:


Saturday, February 11, 2006

R.I.P. JAY DEE aka J Dilla (1974-2006)

R.I.P. JAY DEE (aka J Dilla)
~Super Producer/Solo Artist/Former Slum Village member~

Show him some love here or at
You will be truly missed.
If you have Winamp, copy and paste this online tribute of
300 Jay Dee songs.

Keep him in your hearts and your decks forever.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Here is the latest installment of IS IT ME?...this time dealing with Hip-Hop and R&B stars on tonight's GRAMMY show. Leave your comments if you agree or disagree with my comments. (this is just meant to be funny, y'all..don't get all bent out of shape if I talk about your favorite person in this post...that includes you too, Radiah!) [wife is a huge fan of Mariah Carey]

IS IT ME???...or should Ciara have kept this beautiful white dress on rather than that 'street corner wear' she had the nerve to appear onstage with?

IS IT ME???...or are you appalled that the Black Eyed Peas won for best 'RAP' anything?

IS IT ME???...or is this picture of Common and Taraji P. Henson enough proof that he's gotten Erykah Badu out of his system?

IS IT ME???...or were more disturbed by the 'possible' breathing tube that was strapped to the mic than Sly's out-of-this-world mohawk?

IS IT ME???...or did Kanye West's outfit in this pic make him look like he was the love child of John Travolta (think Saturday Night Fever) and Kool Moe Dee?

IS IT ME???...or did Kanye West redeem himself with this homage to the Black College staple of marching bands and Greek stepping?

IS IT ME???...or was Mariah LOOKING better than ever yet SINGING worst than ever?

IS IT ME???...or are you just as happy that 'G.O.O.D. MUSIC' is finally being recognized with Mariah, Kanye and John Legend all capturing three statuettes each?

IS IT ME???...or did Terrence Howard look like the lost member of the 'Five Heartbeats' with this ridiculously shiny suitcoat on?

IS IT ME???...or were you just as shocked as me when you saw De La Soul opening the GRAMMYs with the Gorillaz?


Friday, January 20, 2006

Is It Me? - Post #1

This is a section that I used to have in the 1990's when I had my own website of music reviews and had some special features. It's kind of like 20 Questions in Vibe, but better (at least that's what I believe!) So, here is my current list 'Is It Me?' questions....and if you have some, feel free to comment by clicking the small link in the bottom right of this post. I will post them in the next posting of the 'Is It Me?' section!

1. IS IT ME?...or does Charlie Wilson have the biggest teeth you ever saw in your life (they're even bigger than Ron Isley's!)
2. IS IT ME?...or does the relationship with Beyonce and Jay-Z need to go to the next level?
3. IS IT ME?...or are you surprised that they gave Queen Latifah a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame before Will Smith?
4. IS IT ME?...or did Lou Rawls always look like a jive turkey when you saw him?
5. IS IT ME?...or do you wish movie soundtracks were as good as they were in the early 90s (i.e. Menace II Society, Boyz N Da Hood, Juice, New Jack City, etc)
6. IS IT ME?...or has Omar Gooding been stealing some limelight from his incognito brother Cuba?
7. IS IT ME?...or shouldn't the popular TV Show 'Everybody Hates Chris' change its title to 'Everybody LOVES Chris'?
8. IS IT ME?...or are the recent firings of David Mays and Benzino from The Source a day late and a dollar short?
9. IS IT ME?...or are you just as shocked that The Simpsons are still on the air?
10. IS IT ME?...or should Bun B receive the Rap Hustler of the Year award for being on practically every album that came out last year?


Monday, January 16, 2006

Best Albums of 2005

Wow....I can't believe we are in 2006, and 2005 is a just a memory.
(Memorieeeeeeeees...I've had a fewwwwwwww!!!!!!)
~Sorry about that~

Anyways, Here is my list of best albums for 2005. I decided not to put them in any particular order so I would not put one album ahead of another one by mistake!

Common - Be
Beanie Sigel - B. Coming
Slim Thug - Already Platinum
Paul Wall - The People's Champ
Little Brother - The Minstrel Show
Kanye West - Late Registration
Slum Village - Slum Village
Talib Kweli - Right About Now
Cuban Link - Chain Reaction
Bun B - Trill
Miri Ben Ari - The Hip-Hop Violinist
Lil Kim - Naked Truth
David Banner - Certified
Ludacris presents - Disturbing The Peace
Big Boi presents - Got Purp, Vol 1

BEST OF 2005 - R&B
John Legend - Get Lifted
Raheem Devaughn - Love Experience
Lyfe - 268-192
Eric Benet - Hurricane
Kindred - In This Life Together
112 - Pleasure and Pain
Mary J Blige - The Breakthrough
Jamie Foxx - Unpredictable
Anthony Hamilton - Ain't Nobody Worryin'
Leela James - A Change Is Gonna Come
Dwele - Some Kinda
Kem - Album II
Chris Brown - Chris Brown
Keyshia Cole - The Way It Is
Syleena Johnson - Chapter 3: The Flesh
Marques Houston - Naked
Jaguar Wright - Divorcing Neo 2 Marry Soul
Trey Songz - I Gotta Make It
Amerie - Touch
Floetry - Flo'Ology


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Urban Fiction

In past year, I have read and heard a lot of opinions in regards to the African-American book industry. The main topic seems to have been the popularity of Urban-Street Fiction or "Hood" books. Some like it, some don't. Here's my take on it. As you've seen on my previous 2005 book list, I read a variety of books including urban fiction. I think that the urban fiction that I've read is wonderful. The books are entertaining and fast-paced.

Now there are some that have numerous errors in it, but there are some errors that I've found in other genres of books so sometimes that happens. As long as it doesn't distract me from reading the book then I'm fine. I think the problem that people are having with it is that a lot of teens are reading these books and they feel that this isn't "good reading" or they're not reading the "classics". Well, at least they're reading something (I know I'm going to get hate email for this one.) If a teen is reading urban fiction, they will read another book in another genre if you steer them to it.

What's good about the African-American book market today is the variety of books and genres to choose from. It wasn't like that 10yrs ago. Urban Fiction is just like hip-hop music, they said that wouldn't last but it's still here. If you don't like hip-hop, don't listen to it. If you don't like Urban Fiction, don't read it. I don't think it would be fair to hate on these authors and publishers for doing what every author is trying to do: sell books. Urban Fiction has always been there with Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim. Urban fiction is here to stay.


The Best Books I've Read In 2005

Hello Everyone. Happy New Year!

I can't believe that it's already 2006. Time sure does fly. It seems like it was only yesterday that our website was launched. I want to thank everyone for their continued support of the website. As of right now, we have over 4200 visitors to the website and over 100 mailing list subscribers. Not bad for a website that launched in July 2005! Ok, now back to the matter at hand. In 2005, I had the wonderful opportunity to read some really great books. So here's my Best Books I've Read in 2005 List. These books are in no particular order, and some of them didn't actually come out in 2005.

Best Books I've Read in 2005
1. Swingers by Torrian Ferguson
2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S & The Choices That We Make by Valerie A. Withers.
3. Friend or Foe by D.L. Moore
4. Brooklyn Jewelry Exchange by Meisha C. Holmes
5. A Dream Come True by Michael T. Owens
6. A Dollar Outta Fifteen Cent by Caroline McGill
7. Urban Affair by Tony Lindsay
8. Choose Me by Xenia Ruiz
9. Hoodlum by K'wan
10. The Amen Sisters by Angela Benson
11. The Velvet Rope by Brenda Thomas
12. Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This by Mary Morrison
13. In Sheep's Clothing by Mary Monroe.
14. Gettin Hers by Donna Hill
15. The Untelling by Tayari Jones
16. Groove by Geneva Holliday
17. Genevieve by Eric Jerome Dickey.
18. 72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell.
19. Little Black Girl Lost by Keith Lee Johnson.
20. Candy Licker by Noire
21. The One That Got Away by C. Kelly Robinson.
22. Don't Get It Twisted by Eric Pete.
23. The Glamorous Life by Nikki Turner

There are so many other books that I can add to this list but then it would be about 100 plus books on it so I'll stop now. LOL!!! 2005 was a great year for books, and I know 2006 will be another great year as well. Happy Reading!!!


Friday, January 06, 2006

What do Master P & Jerry Rice Have In Common?

I guess you're wondering why I ask that question.

Well, if you saw Dancing With The Stars tonight, you'd know exactly what I'm talking about.

Trust me, I do not usually watch this, but as I was flipping the channels, I saw Master P doing the CHA CHA with some woman! And to make matters worst, the song the two of them were dancing to was a Jackson 5 song! WTF? Jackson 5 and doing the CHA CHA do not mix (and i'm not talking about that hideous Cha Cha Slide, people).

I couldn't believe Jerry Rice (the former NFL player) was on there dancing the CHA CHA too! But at least his dancing was convincing. Master P looked like a stiff log! I mean, really...if Master P's son Romeo dropped out of the competition....that should tell you something!

Did anybody else see this catastrophe? Luckily he got the worst score from the show's judges and probably won't be back next week after they get the votes from people who phone in their votes. But I don't even plan on 'accidentally' running into this fiasco again!

Going to bed now....Leave your comments! Nite Nite!


Thursday, January 05, 2006

The site is pretty much done! (actually about 98%)

Well, it's 2am again.......but i'm finally done (for the most part) with the website.

All the reviews are up and ready for reading!
The newsletter is going out.....
The contest information is in the newsletter.

The only thing left to do is the Hip-Hop New Releases page....which I'll tackle tomorrow night.
Now, I'm going to sleep. My wife had about a 3 hour headstart......

Oh well.....i'll get a whopping 5 hours tonight.....
tomorrow should be better. Visit the site, post some comments, holla back!

A 'fully-satified-yet-still-dawg-tired' Charles H.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Update On The Progress To The Website...

Well, it's only 2am this time, but I finally have the Hip-Hop Reviews up on the site. Man, I can't believe the time it takes to explain some of these albums. I want to provide an honest review for each and not leave anything out that I feel is important enough to tell everybody about.

For instance, I felt compelled to explain all the reasons why Chamillionaire's album is a 2.5 considering he used to be paired up with Paul Wall (who I recently gave a 4 out of 5). I left no stone unturned so that you could see the exact reason behind my rating. I do that for all my reviews. Sometimes I see short reviews on and I wonder how you could get any helpful information from four sentences.

So I hope everyone appreciates the time and effort that goes into these reviews.

Upcoming Updates In The Next 24 Hours:
- Finish up the reviews for the R&B cds and post them by tomorrow night.
- Send out the newsletter to the mailing list tomorrow night.
- Get the ball rolling on our book giveaway (now scheduled for Thursday, Jan 5th...sorry!)
- Update the Hip-Hop New Releases page.....

Okay...that's it for now......leave your comments! Peace.

A 'Not-So-Tired-This-Time-Cuz-He-Took-A-Nap-Earlier' Charles H.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The site is up...well...somewhat.

Well, it's 3am...and the site is about 75% complete. Almost all the pages are complete.

The only pages that still need to be completed are the Hip-Hop and R&B reviews.

Everything else is up and ready!

Check out all the cool new features we have:
- A "flash" type introduction page
- Media Center (which will expand tremendously in the weeks to come)
- The Pinnacle (which you are reading now!)
- Separate New Release pages for AA Fiction, Hip-Hop, and R&B.
- Less clutter on the front page
- Javascript Menu for easy navigating
- User-friendly text links on the bottom of each page (just in case)
- Separate page for Submission Guidelines
- Events Calendar for all book and music related events across the nation
- Separate Site Search page

Look for the following updates in the next 24 hours:
- Hip-Hop reviews uploaded
- R&B reviews uploaded
- Hip-Hop New Release page uploaded (somehow got messed up)
- Send out the January 2006 Newsletter to our ever-growing mailing list

And the next couple days and weeks we will:
- Add more entries to The Pinnacle
- Put More links to Streaming audio/video for Media Center page
- Updates to Industry News, New Release pages, Book Excerpts, and Online Bargains.

That's all for now. Now, I can get my measly 4 hours sleep and wake up to return to the daily grind that we all refer to as 'WORK.'

An 'eyelid-closing' Charles H.

P.S. Please feel free to leave your comments about the newly renovated website here at The Pinnacle.....or in the Forum at!